Paulding County DUI Process

Posted by Richard Lawson | Apr 26, 2020 | 0 Comments

Dallas Ga. - Even amid these uncertain times, Paulding County officers are still stopping motorists and making arrests for DUI and other serious traffic infractions.  With more and more Georgians out of work or working reduced hours or remotely, more people are functioning on schedules that are not their norm.  Be mindful that most Paulding County traffic enforcement officers believe in zero tolerance for DUI. If they smell alcohol, you are likely to be arrested for DUI, and will be questioned and asked to participate in field sobriety evaluations at the very least.  So if you have an afternoon beer or glass of wine and then decide to head to the store, be extremely cautious and make sure you 100 percent safe to be driving.

Paulding County is a strict jurisdiction for DUI defendants.  The Paulding County population is relatively conservative, so jury pools usually consist of people who do not drink at all and do not give someone the benefit of the doubt when it comes to drinking alcohol.  However, they have some fair prosecutors in the county, and a skilled Paulding County DUI Defense Lawyer may be able to help you negotiate a lesser charge or punishments. 

Most DUI cases are primarily handled in the Paulding County Probate Court.  Judge Deborah Anderson presides over this court.  Probate court generally convenes on Friday mornings for long traffic dockets.  The Paulding County District Attorney's office prosecutes the cases. The evidence usually consists of a police report, arrest video, and blood or breath test results in a DUI case – and begin negotiating the case.  Sometimes the case can be worked out in this "early phase."

Many DUI cases are “bound over” to Paulding County Superior Court.  The Probate Court and the Superior Court are both housed in the main Paulding County Courthouse in Dallas, Georgia, and both have the same district attorney's offices assigned.  Once a case is bound over from trial, three general things happen: 

  1. It buys more time for the Defendant before having to resolve their case.  Paulding County moves slowly, and it can be a year or two before your case comes up on the Superior Court docket.  In the meantime, you can make life changes in anticipation of a guilty plea.  Additionally, sometimes officers leave the force, which can give the defense a significant advantage in working out the case.   

  2. If negotiations gridlock with the DA you are assigned in probate court, your case will likely be assigned to a different prosecutor in Superior Court.  This provides your Paulding County DUI Attorney a second chance to work out a favorable agreement in your case.

  3. You can only have a jury trial in Superior Court. However, some cases need to be litigated, and you are only entitled to a trial by jury in Paulding Superior Court, not the probate court or any of the traffic courts.  The leverage that results from potentially contesting a case before a jury can often lead to a better-negotiated plea bargain down the road. 

If a Paulding County officer arrests you, then the case generally begins in probate court as outlined above. Paulding County also encapsulates a couple of cities that maintain their own police force and city courts.  These are places where you can attempt to negotiate down your DUI case or punishment, but if you need legal motions or a trial, you have the right to send your case over to Paulding County Superior Court.  The City of Dallas has a traffic court with Judge Brian Hardison presiding.  The City of Hiram also has its own traffic/municipal court where DUI cases within Hiram city limits are prosecuted. 

If you or a loved one is facing a DUI or serious traffic charge in Paulding County, GA, or within the cities of Dallas, GA, or Hiram, GA, our Paulding County DUI Lawyers can help.  Contact the Paulding County DUI Attorneys at Lawson & Berry today for a free consultation.  We are here to help 24/7.         

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Richard Lawson

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Georgia DUI Defense Attorneys

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